Christmas Cake

3 cups sultanas

1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
100g red glace cherries, quartered
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup dried pineapple, finely chopped
1/4 cup mixed peel
3/4 cup brandy
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
Melted butter, to grease
250g butter, at room temperature
1 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Blanched almonds, to decorate
Red glace cherries, extra, halved, to decorate
2 tablespoons brandy, extra

Combine sultanas, raisins, currants, dates, cherries, cranberries, pineapple, mixed peel, brandy and orange rind in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, stirring occasionally, for 2 days to macerate.
Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with 3 layers of non-stick baking paper.
Use an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between each addition until just combined. Add butter mixture to fruit mixture and stir to combine. Add flour and mixed spice and stir until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Lightly tap pan on benchtop to release any air bubbles. Arrange almonds and cherries on top of the cake.
Bake in oven, covered with foil, for 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Drizzle hot cake with extra brandy. Set aside to cool before turning out.

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Midwest Foods Dubbo